Pros: Legendary Unsinkable hull. Great!!! fishing boat. Nice Fit 'n Finish. Very useful features.
Cons: Accutrac?? hull. The engineers smoked crack?? when designing boat - several design flaws
The Boston Whaler 21 foot Outrage is one of the finest Ocean Running 21 footers that I have tested and owned. In over 4 years of ownership, though I have many cons related to this boat, if I had to purchase another 21 foot boat, I would have little hesitation in purchasing the 21 Outrage again. This boat has provided me countless hours of pleasure and wonderful salmon, halibut, sturgeon, rock fish, tuna, bass and crab dinners. Most important, the 21 Outrage has provided me the priceless security of a well handling Blue-Water 21-foot boat when making my routine solo 35 mile 1-way leg (beyond sight-of-land!!), even in snotty conditions, fishing trips for early-season Salmon in the Farralon Islands region
For a 21 foot boat, my current set-up of a center console and leaning post/live-well combo is a true fishing boat with 360 degrees of fish fighting ability, perfect for light tackle fishing where a 47lb salmon will provide numerous runs around the boat and an hour worth of adrenalin rush. Its in-deck fish boxes, 6 foot long and nearly a foot deep, will hold an abundance of fish.
21 Outrage "positive" amenities:
* Boston Whaler have the Legendary Unsinkable hull WITH level flotation when fully swamped.
* Nice large center console with good storage capacity, separate electronics box (I converted it for personal items storage), storage for 3 large tackle trays and map holder.
* A VERY useful combination leaning post and live-well (near 40gal) fishing station with additional tackle storage.
* 2 Huge fish boxes, but they are not guttered deep enough (more later).
* Useful folding transom splash gate with raw-water wash down.
* Over 350 mile cruise range with 225 4stroke (150 mile tuna trip only burned 47 gallons; with near 80 gallons in reserve).
* With added trim tabs, the boat plows and slices through up to 5 foot back-to-back chop. The foam core hull deadens the impact of waves in contrast to another premium style boat as a Grady, where wave impact is felt and heard quite loudly.
* My pre-Euro style hull (non-slanting stern) seems to offer more deck space and, in my opinion, better visual lines.
* Good anchor locker access and storage capability, but with a drain that runs into the forward dry locker - not too bright Whaler, smoking too much Jamaican???
* Best in category Fit 'n Finish. For an example, this boat has beautiful large 1-piece bow rail. Grady White uses MULTI-PIECE bow rails on mosts of its boats (The bases are mounted, then a post, then a t-attachment for the rail).
* Spacious deck and un-obscured 360 degree fish fighting ability when all electronic related items are mounted on the center console.
Now For Some Of The Cons of the 21 Outrage:
* The boat with the 600lb 2003 225 Yamaha 4-stroke wanders all over the place when below 5kts - Accutrac - yeah, right. Even with the previous, lighter 225 hp Johnson, the hull DID NOT track true when under 5kts. The addition of 12-inch Lenco electric trim tabs helps the boat track much better when tabs are fully descended, as they seem to act as rudders. With the version 2 of the Accutrac hull, it looks as if Boston Whaler may have corrected the "wandering" problem by make the hull have a deeper center line (I have not tested this hull yet).
* Other con is that the bow rails are not set into a backing plate, but are screwed into a backing of wood. Running in the chop of the Northern California, I have stripped out 2 screws - had to fix this problem by drilling out the holes and making epoxy plugs with threads for machine screws. You probably won't have to worry about his problem if you DO NOT have the constant need for speed.
* Other con: the large deck plate that covers the gas tank is not secured with enough screws. You have to keep on top of all screws on a Boston Whaler, especially if you drive like your typical Whaler owner (Idle and Wide Open Throttle, WOT). Since my center console and the live-well/leaning post are mounted onto this deck plate, this amount of mass, over a few hundred pounds, causes movement of the deck plate when running head on into waves, particularly @ high speeds. Imagine all this weight moving forward and then suddenly stopping by wave impact. The forward inertia and wave impacts have SNAPPED 3 screws of my deck plate and bent several more - Nice job Whaler, smoking Columbian this time????
* Another con: For those of us who do not keep their boats in the water, the plastic thru-hulls are ugly dog feces and damage with UV rays. If I were keeping this boat in the water, plastic is fine as it will not corrode, but the plated Stainless or Bronze thru-hulls are what I would prefer.
* Other Con: The in-deck fish boxes are not as deeply guttered as needed, so anytime you wash the deck down, some dirty water will infiltrate into your box and contaminate your catch.
* Other Con: Gas tank sits in the bilge where salt water always seeps in from the access panels in the transom area. Though the tank is aluminum, aluminum does corrode folks.
* Other con: The anchor locker drains into the front dry storage locker - The Whaler engineers really had their propeller hats on this day when they designed this feature!!!! You dip your nose or wash your rode and all this raw water goes into your dry storage locker!!!!! Whaler corrected this flaw in later models by sealing the anchor locker and making it drain directly overboard.
In summary, cruising through the nasty chop of the San Francisco Bay Area, the 21 Outrage hull mitigates the pounding, especially when I added the superb Lenco Electric Trim tabs. Trim tabs are a must when you have a 4-stroke on the stern or a full live-well, which sits behind the middle of the boat because the extra weight makes the boat ride "butt" heavy even when using full trim of the engine. The boat with tabs will simply slice its way through nasty water with minimal pounding.
Trailering of this boat can be accomplished with a large 6 cylinder vehicle, but a v-8 or Diesel is the way to go. WARNING: if you do trailer, make sure your trailer has BUNKS supporting most of the weight of the boat rather than rollers. The foam core will permanently dimple if the boat is not supported correctly with bunks along the centerline and chimes.
Top Speed in the 21 Outrage with a full load of fuel, food, soda and a couple of guys pushed by a 225 Yamaha 4-stroke is 43 knots with a 17 pitch 3 blade prop. Estimated cruise range is 350nm.
No boat is perfect, but Boston Whaler makes one of the few 21 foot boat that can keep up with the Blue Water boats or zip past them on a smooth day, yet have over 3 times the fuel economy.